Michigan Three-Week epidemic Order
Effective today and for the next three weeks, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a 3-week order based on “an exponential growth” in COVID-19 cases, with daily new cases reaching over 6,000 (three times more than last spring).
No major impact to dental practices at this time – aside from the three points outlined below. This order will exist in tandem with the already existing Final MIOSHA COVID Emergency Rules(effective until at least April 2021)
The entire Three-Week Epidemic Order MCL 333.2253 is linked here and summarized below with Dental Practices in mind.
As applicable to dental practices in Michigan, here are relevant requirements to keep in mind:
- We are now by law required to refuse entry and providing care to patients refusing to wear a mask (unless an allowable exception applies, and those exceptions include someone who may not medically be able to tolerate a mask.)
- The Dental Practice team cannot assume that someone entering the practice without a mask cannot wear it, and must, at a minimum receive, verbal confirmation that the unmasked individual is not able to medically tolerate wearing a mask.
- We must require our patients to wait in the car if the waiting room cannot be arranged in a manner that accommodates for 6-ft social distancing. Per the COVID MIOSHA emergency rules, waiting rooms must be marked/or have chairs arranged to enable 6-feet social distancing.
Important timelines from MIOSHA COVID Emergency Rules: We must notify the health department as soon as possible after learning or a confirmed case at the practice (employee, third party visitor or patient) and notify all affected parties (patients and coworkers with potential contact with the confirmed individual) within 24 hours.
For this reason it is critical to quickly communicate with Compliance on any and all confirmed and potential exposures as soon as possible. Time is truly of the essence – by law.
This Order takes effect today on November 18, 2020 and continues through December 8, 2020. Upon effective date, this Order rescinds the October 29, 2020 order. A violation of the order is punishable by monetary civil penalties under MCL 333.2262(a) and civil fines up to $1,000 for each violation or day that the violation continues.
If COVID cases continue to rise in Michigan, and as we head into the holiday season, we anticipate that the MDHHS will continue to issue additional, potentially stricter, restrictions through the remainder of 2020.